By Pamela Rose Williams, founder
I was asked by Grace Hill Media to screen the American Sniper movie as a promotion of the release to BluRay/DVD/Digital HD. Before I agreed to review this movie I had to really think about whether or not it would be a good one for Christianity Every Day. After careful prayer and consideration I decided it was a movie that required review and comment, not only because of all the publicity that it received, but also because it is a true story about real people who have sacrificed so very much to maintain my freedom. This is a personal review and this movie moved me in a way that I did not expect. I watched it with my husband who is a U.S. Army disabled veteran. My adult daughter also watched it with us – this was her second viewing. The opinions expressed here are our real and true opinions.
American Sniper is a movie about a U.S. Navy SEAL named Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper). Chris was a typical cowboy who lived a typical cowboy life until he was moved to do something in the wake of the 9/11 disaster here in the USA. On their wedding day Chris tells his wife Taya (Sienna Miller) that he will be gone 6 months at most when his unit is called to be deployed to Iraq. Ultimately Chris served four tours of duty in Iraq as a sniper. He became a legend having been credited with 160 confirmef kills while protecting our troops. The movie is not only an insider’s look at what really happens on the battlefield, but it is the story of how Chris and his wife deal with the effects of war. Each time Chris comes home you can see it is more and more difficult for him to adjust back to family life. Each tour adds to the PTSD and this is apparent at home when he is bothered by certain sounds and is on edge and quick to anger. Throughout the movie Chris and Taya chat but Chris is unwilling to have any in depth conversation about his Navy life. Taya is left to feel helpless and lonely as Chris continually returns to battle, leaving his family behind.
WARNING: Not a Family Movie:
American Sniper is an extremely violent movie with true-to-life war scenes. There was some sexual content and the language and behavior of the military personnel is vulgar and extreme. I was sad to see that many of the non-military characters also used foul language – in my opinion this was unnecessary. This is not a movie that is appropriate for family viewing. In fact, I would recommend the viewing audience to be military and ex-military folks as well as anyone who is interested to know what our troops really experience in the heat of battle. It would be a great educational piece for someone who is an American citizen with an anti-war point of view. They might be surprised to see what it costs to secure their freedom. If you are offended or bothered by extreme war violence and/or vulgar language, don’t see it. If you can look beyond these historically accurate offenses watch the movie.
Observations and Other Opinions:
Reactions from my veteran:
I was happy that my husband watched American Sniper with me because he was able to tell me whether or not the movie did well to tell the real story. My husband served several tours of duty in the U.S. Army as a medic. When I asked him what he thought of it he said “That was a very raw and realistic portrayal of what really happens to military members that are involved in these types of missions. War is an ugly business and this movie will shock some people. We saw what it’s really like for those who do the dirty work”. I asked him if the language was realistic and he said “That type of language among military folks is very common”. I asked him if, based upon his own military experience, if he could identify with any of the movie. He said “The thing I most identified with was when he (Chris) came back … the sounds that reminded him … the van that passed them on the road …”. He went on to say that this movie is definitely not one that you would show your family.
Reactions from my young adult daughter:
As I mentioned earlier, my daughter had previously viewed the movie, even so when I asked her what she thought of the movie she said “When I first saw it I was in shock … I don’t know what to think … couldn’t even cry.” She went on to say “Makes me proud to be an American and if I could serve, I would! Made me really think about the things we take for granted … keeping us free here by fighting there.”
My reaction and thoughts:
American Sniper left me with an incredible feeling of honor for those who have served in our military. I have been blessed to know several military heroes including my Daddy who is in Heaven now. He was a medic and a WWII veteran. As I mentioned earlier my husband also served — he did several tours of duty — also as a medic. I have uncles, a brother-in-law and a father-in-law who served. Like my daughter, I don’t ever want to take for granted what these men have done for me. I take it personally because they did! Like Chris Kyle, they sacrificed much to fight wars on terror. Sometimes it was the sacrifice of being gone from home for months on end – or years! Sometimes it was injuries that they suffered, including memories that came back to haunt. Sometimes it was the ultimate sacrifice – their own life. I am thankful for all that they have done and I am thankful that God ordains it as we read in Romans 13:4 “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” I honor these men for I do not ever want them to believe that they “beareth the sword in vain”. They deserve our honor; it is the least we can do.
When you purchase the movie that was released on BluRay/DVD/Digital HD on May 19th, Warner Brothers will donate a portion of the proceeds across physical and digital sales to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). One dollar of each purchase will be donated up to $1,000,000 from April 21, 2015 through December 31, 2015, void in Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi and South Carolina. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.com.
Movie & Book Giveaway (Begins 6/3/15 @ 12:00 AM)
photo credits: Warner Brothers and Wounded Warrior Project